Pad Thai Story

Last Updated on : 15th July 2022

My tale starts one Friday night, not so very long ago, at Pad Thai Story…a Thai restaurant on Wandsworth’s Old York Road. Once up a time it had been called Mandarin Street, somewhere I had loved so much that I’d written a glowing review. It closed shortly after my review was published, to this day I hope that both events are unrelated.

What has replaced Mandarin Street (and a few others since then,) is a small but bright and welcoming dining room located over a busy hot kitchen. The owners cut their teeth with Garratt Lane, BYOB budget favourite, Green Curry. Pad Thai Story with its own wine list and credit card machine takes the business up a social level or so.

It being Friday night, myself and my companion were between appointments with hostelries when we chanced upon an opportunity for a quick dinner. Though most of the tables were booked, we could have a table for two if we promised to be no longer than an hour.

Unusually the restaurant is open for two sittings (lunch and dinner,) and effectively has a different menu for each, with lunches coming in at about £7-£9.00 and offering a mix of curries and stir fries. Concentrating on the dinner selection, I felt that if someone was brave enough to name a venue after a particular dish so be it, I’ll have that dish and so chose a chicken Pad Thai. My companion wanted a green curry, as well he likes green curry. To start we shared some corn cakes and shrimp dumplings.

The wine list was a bit pricier than I was expecting, in the end I opted for a South African chenin blanc at about £24 a bottle. It was fine, the mix of dry and fruitiness making a good complement for the food even if it wasn’t something I’d choose to drink on its own.

You thought I was joking earlier about the hot kitchen? Well, it was so hot that the fans rattling away in the basement made me think that we were sitting over a new tube line, at points the vibrations were so much they made the cutlery dance. The heat though must have down something to inspire the chefs, as the cooking was definitely a notch higher here than on Garratt Lane.

To start we shared some corn cakes and steamed shrimp dumplings. The corn cakes were slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and very tasty. The steamed shrimp dumplings might seem more Cantonese than Thai cuisine, but I didn’t care, they were delicious.

After such a strong start it was a shame the main courses couldn’t quite keep the momentum going.My Pad Thai was great, tasting fresh, meaty, nutty and strangely limey. It was a good Pad Thai, but I wasn’t surprised by it like I had been by the shrimp dumplings. My friend’s chicken green curry was also good, the right mixture of sweetness and spice. We agreed that whereas the starters had both been 9s the mains came in a little under at. With a bill of around £35 a head including wine though for 2 courses, I would say you could do a lot worse and not much better on Old York Road.

We were out in just under the promised hour satisfied with both the food and the price. I would say more, but I’m rather hoping that this one is still there when I want to go back.

Pad Thai Story
543 Old York Rd, London SW18 1TQ

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